Steel is one of the most important engineering and construction materials in the world. In our lives steel is used in every aspect, from sewing needles to oil tankers. Moreover steel can be recycled over and over again without loss of its basic nature and property.

Steel is the alloy of iron and carbon. In this alloy, the carbon content ranges up to 2 percent, if the carbon content is higher, the material is called cast iron. Steel structure is metal structure which carries loads and provides rigidity, in which all the steel components are connected to each other. Due to the high strength of steel, these are reliable and require fewer raw materials than concrete in any structure. Steel is widely used in the construction of roads, appliances, railways, other infrastructure and buildings. Large modern structures like skyscrapers, stadiums, bridges and airports, are fully supported by the steel skeleton.


TMT steel bars or Thermo Mechanically Treated bars are the best tmt bars construction material for any type of construction due to its properties like weldability, ductility, high tensile to yield strength, lightweight, corrosion & fire resistance etc. In this article we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of steel as a building material.



1. Reliability

Steel structures are very reliable due to their consistency and uniformity in properties. Because of factory manufacture, better quality control is possible. Yield stress tests in the laboratory for ultimate strengths and elongations, we can find lesser variation in quality unlike concrete and wood. The results obtained by the test are much more reliable, because of the truly homogeneous and elastic material of the steel. Heterogeneous materials like masonry in concrete structures are not reliable due to its cracking and non-linearity of stress-strain relationship.


 2. Industrial Behavior

Estimation and projection of demand for any material is an essential part of business strategies of any manufacturing unit. Commodities like steel, serves the primary raw material for the sectors like communication, infrastructure, construction, transport and other processing industries. TMT Steel is manufactured and processed in factories. Furthermore, the members are cut and prepared for assembly in factories and joining the parts is carried out at the site by using rivets or bolts or by welding different components. Sometimes a few parts of the different structures are assembled in the factories. This is a great adaptation to the system. Manual errors lessen greatly in such cases. By adopting this process, the speed of construction enhances and the total cost reduces.


3. Greater Erection Speed / Lesser Construction Time

Innovative and modern industrial nature of steel construction, the progress of the work is fast and structures are being economical.  The cut in labor cost and the benefits of using recycled materials contributes to the economy.


4. Sturdy and Lightweight

Due to the high strength of tmt bars the dead loads are smaller. It is very important to understand that the dead loads are a major part of the total loads on structures like bridges, buildings, or machines. TMT BARS serves the best results for tall buildings and long-span bridges.

Lightweight and improved performance properties of steel are needed for marine, aerospace, and medical applications. Light-gauge steel is a cold-formed material, which is used to make the structure smoother and products stronger. Like wood, it does not deteriorate. Steel is not bulky and heavy, like concrete. So lightweight and strength is the major property of steel needed for any building material.


 5. Uniformity, Durability and Performance

Steel is a homogeneous and uniform material. Naturally, it satisfies most basic assumptions of the analysis and design formulas. If properly taken care by painting, the steel does not change appreciably with time.  Whereas, in case of concrete, the structures are considerably modified with time. In one word we can say that the steel structures are more durable and with better performances.


 6. Elasticity

One of the properties of the steel is to adopt high stresses. Thus acts closer to design assumption than other materials. The moments of inertia of a steel structure can be calculated, since the sections of steel do not crack or tear before ultimate load.


7. Ductility

The Property like ductility helps the material to withstand extensive deformation without failure under high tensile stresses. The steel is very ductile in nature. In case of overloads, visible deflections of evidence occur. Then the extra loads can be removed from the structure to prevent collapse. Time is available for occupants to vacate the building, even if collapse does occur.


8. Extending Existing Structures

It is very easy to add an extended structure to existing steel structures. Connections between old and existing structures can be implemented very effectively. Totally new bays, even entire new wings can be added to pre-existing steel frame building. Steel brides may often be widened due to the property of steel.


9. Reuse

Steel sections can be reused even after the structure is disassembled.


10. Scrap Value

Steel has a scrap value. Although the steel is not reusable in its existing form still it has a value. Scrap plays an important role in reducing industry emissions and resource consumption.


11. Air-tight and Water-tight Construction

Structural steel is used in reservoirs, oil pipes, gas pipes etc. It provides completely waterproof construction.


12. Long Span Construction

Improvised structural steels such as TMT Bars are used in long span bridges, high-rise buildings and tall transmission towers. 90.m spans, 260.m to 300.m spans  for industrial buildings  and bridges respectively are designed by plate girders or trusses.



13. Temporary Construction

Steel construction is always preferred for temporary structures. Structural steels are used for Army constructions during war. The structures disassembled very easily by opening a few bolts and component parts to carry new places. The structure is easily reassembled too.


High Maintenance Cost and Corrosion Prone

 Due to being susceptible to corrosion to air and water, these need to be painted periodically. Thus we  need to take special care and it costs extra. But the weathering steels tend to eliminate this cost. Without proper maintenance these steel can lose 1 to 1.5 mm of thickness every year.

Costs of Fireproofing

Steel are incombustible in nature. The strength of steel is tremendously reduced at high temperatures prevailing in fires. Steel is a good conductor of heat and may transmit enough heat from one end to another. Extra cost is required for properly fireproofing the building.

Sensitivity to Buckling

Buckling means the loss of stability of a material’s strength. This loss of stability normally occurs within the elastic range of the material. The steel usually consists of the combination of thin plates. If the dimensions of the steel are smaller than reinforced concrete members, then there are greater chances of buckling.

Costly with Less Availability

In some countries, steel is not available in plenty. Over there, the initial cost is very high compared with the other structural materials. Due to this significant factor, the steel structures are limited in those countries.


Mostly steel is architecturally preferred for all types of buildings like residential and office buildings. Steel structures without the use of cladding or false ceiling are considered to have low creative appearance. Cladding is the covering of metal, plastic or timber used to provide a decorative and protective skin on a building for aesthetic appearances. Cladding not only protects but encases the whole structure to improve its appearances. An extensive amount of cost is to be spent to improve the appearances

The Bottom Line

Today, practically most of the industries have major applications of structural steel. From the equipment used in industry, to the finished products, structural steel is used everywhere. Warehouses, high-rise buildings, buildings, bridges all are made using structural steel sections. Experts prefer the use of structural steel over any other building material for any type of construction. This is mainly because of the numerous benefits of structural steel. Although there are few disadvantages of steel, advantages overpower all disadvantages.